In the wake of the deadly flotilla boarding involving Israeli troops and resulting in multiple deaths, outrage has been expressed around the world. One of the strongest cries of outrage may have come from a woman that past generations would have expected to be seen instead of heard. By taking that active role around the world, Jordan’s Queen Rania just might help change the standing of women in the Arab world.
Queen Rania’s statement regarding the Flotilla boarding came via Twitter, casting a light on arguably the most wired royal on the planet. With a Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook page to go along with her personal web site, Rania has established a level of access that is unprecedented among the world’s royal families. That online presence has contributed greatly to the Jordanian Queen’s incredible international popularity. She may have been included in a recent list of the world’s most-beautiful women, but Queen Rania is quickly establishing herself as more than just a pretty face. Much more.
In a burgeoning women’s movement that some say could see women reshape the Middle East, the profile of Arabic women has already shifted dramatically in other parts of the world. Women of Arabic ethnicity have recently won high-profile beauty pageants in America and France, two countries accused of being xenophobic towards Middle Easterners. Considering how the role of women in the Middle East is continuously satirized and a group of female Al-Jazeera reporters recently resigned over remarks made regarding their appearance, this could be an interesting crossroads for women in the Middle East.
Queen Rania isn’t just contributing to that with her looks. Over the past few years, Jordan’s modern queen has been remarkably active in social and political causes around the world. She has already authored “The Sandwich Swap,” a best-selling children’s book looking to teach the world about diversity. A recent recipient of the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, Queen Rania has also spoken in front of formidable audiences to further causes looking to benefit the world’s children, particularly with regard to education, poverty, and finance. She has also been active in encouraging physical activity among her people.
This incredible global profile is causing a dramatic shift in the traditional stereotypes regarding women in the Middle East. Still only 39 years old, Queen Rania could just be getting starting in her contributions to the future of the Middle East and the planet as a whole.